Last week, someone from the office sent me a forwarded e-mail and I zoomed right by it. The next day, they had asked if I’d read it and I admitted I hadn’t. Feeling guilty, I opened it up.
Essentially, it was about a cab driver who hated his job. Everyone was always rude when they hopped in and he found the day to day grind of driving these people around to be unbearable. I’ll cut to the chase and say one day he had an epiphany that he controlled his surroundings. He could quit, or he could try to make it a better experience for both him and the passengers.
He chose the latter and transformed his whole mentality. When he picked up a client he gave them his business card and welcomed them warmly into his cab. He explained his job was to get them safely to their destination and make it as enjoyable as possible. As they started their journey, he offered them cold beverages or coffee from a thermos that he provided free of charge. He would then let them know he would be happy to point out some of the historical sites and tourist attractions along the way if they were interested, or if they wanted some quiet, he had some magazines and newspapers for them. The driver also shocked his passengers when he inquired what radio station they preferred. If they were from out of town, he handed them a sheet of the local stations and what type of music they played.
As I read it, I was inspired. It’s brilliant, yet so simple. He was unhappy with his job and made the conscious decision to make his life enjoyable by creating a positive atmosphere around him. Just like anyone, he gets grumpy passengers that snap at him and people that don’t appreciate the small gestures, but they are fewer and farther between and, more importantly, he enjoys going to work every day.
The email was a gentle reminder for me of two things. The first is that there are great opportunities out there for those that are willing to take a look at their business with a fresh pair of eyes.
The second is that I have the power to make the interactions in my job positive or negative–something that I sometimes forget. Not everyone is going to be pleasant but I can approach my day with a positive attitude and if they decide not to partake, they can sit back and choose the radio station of their choice.
Stephanie Lee works in Operations at Travel Quest, a host agency out of MN with over 200+ home-based travel agents. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University with a degree in Environmental Studies/Liberal Studies. She was awarded ASTA Young Professional of the Year in 2008 and was named one of Travel Agent’s “30 under 30” in 2009. She can be reached at Stephanie@TQagents.com, via Google+, or 800.392.6484. For more information on Travel Quest visit www.TQagents.com or www.facebook.com/TQagents
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